I pressed play on my Ipod and this is what I heard….I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass By Nick Lowe
I think the mark of what makes someone a quality songwriter sometimes is the ability to ‘sell’ a song idea. Songs which after hearing the title makes you stop to think about it, scratch your head and say, wait…the song is about what exactly? The history of popular music is full of songs like that- Roll Over Beethoven, Psycho Killer, Rock Lobster. Odd names for sure, but the songs are all classics. Think about what the record label executives must have thought when they were asked to promote songs with titles like those! The fact that all those songs were hits means that whatever ‘selling’ the songwriter had to do with the song clearly worked. Added to that list should surely be Nick Lowe’s song, I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass, released in 1978. On that, and so many songs since, he sure knows how to sell a song.
I have been a fan of Nick’s since I was in college. At some point during those years I came across the 50’s inspired music of Dave Edmunds. Together with Nick Lowe they were one half of the group Rockpile, which owing to a complex arrangement between record labels meant that both Lowe and Edmunds released albums under their own names, but the group involved was actually Rockpile. If you are confused by that, perhaps this might help. What I have always admired about Nick Lowe has been his ability to adapt and reinvent himself throughout his career. Throughout it all he has been equal parts rocker, songwriter and crooner…with maybe a dash of punk thrown in as well. And it shows in his songs over the years. The punk energy to Heart Of The City, the musical nod to the 60’s in Cruel To Be Kind, 80’s style pop with Half A Boy & Half A Man, and a more mature outlook on A Better Man. He has never been afraid of trying new things. I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass has such a great sound-the almost funky guitar, brilliant piano playing and some groovy bass playing combined to give Nick what is criminally his highest charting UK success to date. The song is almost certainly not about really loving the sound of breaking glass, but as songwriter, Nick certainly ‘sold’ the idea to us as listeners.
As to the photo, in an earlier post I wrote about my affinity for taking photographs of faded industrial sites and urban decay. For a photographer, there is a stillness and a type of beauty to those sorts of shots. When the song came up on my Ipod shuffle today, this photo I took a few weeks ago came to mind for a similar reason. Sure I love to take photos of nice things too, but a simple shot of a broken glass window set in the faded red of the building appealed to me more than one that is new and pristine. Part of my job as a photographer and a writer here is to ‘sell’ you on the reasons why I take the photographs I do after all. So in this case I’ll let Nick do that for the song, and I will do it for the photo. You can let me know below in the comments if we both ‘sold’ you on our respective ideas!
I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass-Written By Nick Lowe, Andrew Bodnar & Steve Goulding
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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle
*Photo Shuffle is a new, very short slice of my regular blogs based on setting my Ipod on shuffle and matching up one of my photographs to whatever comes up.
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